The Archdiocese of Washington issues apology after pastor Michael Briese kicked a mourning black family out of church and called the cops on them because an attendee accidentally knocked over a chalise during funeral. #MourningWhileBlack #orangeChristian > https://t.co/yVgGZBmnXK pic.twitter.com/m3Fakeo7yc
— Jeffrey Guterman, Ph.D. (@JeffreyGuterman) July 2, 2018
CHARLOTTE HALL, MARYLAND — This priest’s actions are beyond disgraceful and despicable. During an attendee’s moment of grief, this “man of God” throws the Black family out.
Last Tuesday, a funeral came to a sudden end when one of the attendees accidentally knocked over a chalice. The priest then responded by kicking them out and calling the police.
According to Agnes Hicks’ family, she had been baptized at Saint Mary’s Catholic Church as a child and always wanted to have her funeral there.
The Root reports the funeral was going fine until one attendee went to hug another. Accidentally, she knocked over a chalice and damaged it.
That’s when Pastor Michael Briese reportedly told the family:
“There will be no funeral, no repast, everyone get the hell out of my church.”
He even referred to them as “crackheads,” according to Bishop Talbert Swan.
AND IF THAT WEREN’T ENOUGH
As aforementioned, Briese also called the local authorities on the Black family. Cops arrived as the family was carrying Hicks’ casket out of the church.
Rightfully so, police determined the family had done nothing wrong and escorted them to a church in another county where they finished the funeral.
With this in mind, people have taken to the internet to express the utter appalling nature of Briese’s actions towards the family.
They’ve given his book one-star reviews, ironically titled “Spiritual Common Sense.”
Likewise, others have done similarly via Google and Facebook reviews. In an effort to further substantiate evidence regarding the scene, one of the attendees — Imani Carter — tagged the church to videos from the funeral.
Via her post, Carter mentions as follows.
“Never in my life have I ever experienced something so tragic…For him and his secretary to curse us out and call the cops and demand for us to leave the church grounds because something was accidentally broken was unbelievable.”
“I will NEVER in life attend another service or funeral at St. Mary’s Newport Catholic Church…and I’d advise you all to do the same,” Carter continues. “I am truly sick to my stomach and deeply saddened after witnessing such a tragic event. If anyone else has any videos of the how things transpired today please share them so that actions can be taken against them! Rest in Peace Agnes, you did not deserve this today.”
The video were originally uploaded by Crystal Gaines, another funeral attendee. On her initial post, she stated:
“How can u have a house full of black people for a home going celebration services and the pastor tell the family there will not be a service today and for y’all people (As to say Black people) to leave the church and take that with you pointing at the casket ….. Yelling & Cussing at the family…. Putting his hand in family members faces.”
“The police made everybody leave out of the church and off the church property,” Gaines elaborates. “Ms. Agnes had to be removed from the Church…I feel the funeral home did do their job by stepping up for the family when all that was going on.”
If you’re interested in local news coverage of the story, check the video below.
Shanice Chisely is Agne Hicks’ daughter. She spoke with source concerning the way Briese treated them.
“He disrespected our family, he disrespected my mother,” Chisely notes. “He called my mother ‘a thing.’ He said, ‘get this thing out of my church! Everyone get the hell out of my church!’ It was very sad.”
Nonetheless, the Archdiocese of Washington issued a statement in response to Briese’s racist blast.
“What occurred at St. Mary’s Parish this morning does not reflect the Catholic Church’s fundamental calling to respect and uplift the God-given dignity of every person nor does that incident represent the pastoral approach the priests of the Archdiocese of Washington commit to undertake every day in their ministry.”
All in all, let us know your thoughts about this situation. The source has deemed this circumstance #MourningWhileBlack. If you have any comments, feel free to share them via our Facebook page.
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[Featured Photo via Jeffrey Guterman / Neal Carter / Twitter]